We look to finish up round 11 of the NRL season with two cracking matches today. Arguably one of the games of the season so far, sees the Rabbitohs take on the undefeated Panthers, while the Eels will welcome arch rivals Manly to Bankwest Stadium. Both games look set to be thrillers with some of the league’s top stars in action.
Apex Oval, Dubbo, 2pm AEST
Dubbo will be treated to a rare game of NRL football and what a game it has turned out to be. The Rabbitohs will take a home game to country NSW and face a big task coming up against the number one side in the competition. The Panthers have now won ten straight games to start year, with most of them coming in convincing fashion. They come into this on the back of a 36 point demolition over the Titans and hold the best defensive record in the league, conceding on average just 7 points per game. The Rabbitohs will prove tough opponents however, as they welcome back Latrell Mitchell from suspension and have the individual talent across the park to match it with Penrith but can they put it all together for a strong team performance?
The Panthers just keep turning up each week and producing clinical performance after clinical performance. They have been too good for every side they’ve played in the opening 10 weeks but this could arguably be their toughest test yet. The Rabbitohs will be massively boosted by the return of Latrell Mitchell and their side looks as strong on paper as the Panthers. I really think the Rabbitohs can take it to the competition front runners today and the game being played in a neutral location like Dubbo will only help their cause. While Penrith may prove too strong in the clutch moments, the Bunnies look a good chance of covering the line. I’m expecting this to be a very tightly fought contest and one of the matches of the season so far.
Bankwest Stadium, 4:05pm AEST
The 2nd-placed Eels welcome their old rivals the Sea Eagles to Bankwest Stadium for what looks to be a massive way to close out round 11. Parramatta have been flying lately, and have won 5 straight matches leading into this. They have only tasedt defeat once this season and hold the 3rd best defensive record in the competition. They will need to be on top of their game today, with the Tommy Turbo-led Sea Eagles on a recent resurgence of form. They have moved from last place to eighth since Trbojevic returned from injury and himself and winger Jason Saab have breathed new life into the side. Manly put 50 points on the Broncos last week while the Eels put 34 up against the Warriors in round 10. You can expect plenty of fireworks in attack and it should be an entertaining game of footy
Thinking the Eels will be too strong at their beloved Bankwest Stadium in front of a packed out Sunday afternoon crowd. Their side has been in great form, with Mitchell Moses continuing to lead from the front and young half Jakob Arthur looking more than capable of filling in for the suspended Dylan Brown. The Eels defence has been top shelf all year and I think they might just have the wood over the visitors through the middle of the park. Obviously the key will be to shutting down Tommy Turbo, and while it will be impossible to keep him out of the game, I think they have the players to limit his impact. Manly have been surging up the ladder and you cannot count them out the way they’ve been playing. I am expecting another closely fought match with Parramatta to come out on top.
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